Special Brew

Victoria Cradles Her
Special Brew
LONDON, United Kingdom
March 14, 2008

A few nights ago, Tristan, Victoria, and I decided to stay in and watch a DVD. I offered to bring beer back.

"Where should I go on a Sunday evening? Will anywhere be open?", I asked.

"There's an Off-License called 'Drinkers' Paradise' just down Prince of Wales Road. They'll be open," Tristan suggested.

"Okay, I'll pick up some Guinness, then."

"Would you mind getting something for me, something else?" Victoria asked.

"Sure... what do you want?"

"Anything other than Guinness would be fine," Victoria replied.

Scanning the selection of cold beer at Drinkers' Paradise, I realized that I had no idea what any of the brands were. Most beers had traditional English names: "Old Speckled Hen", "Theakston Cooper's Butt". Other brands sounded eastern European--labels composed of words I couldn't read, words heavy with J's and Z's. None of the names were familiar. Unable to differentiate, I grabbed a can of something called, "Special Brew".

When I presented the Special Brew to Victoria, she laughed aloud. Her laughter didn't surprise me, as Victoria is one of the more radiant people I know, more often that not smiling, joking, laughing. This time, it turned out that there was more behind the chuckle.

"Uh, David. Do you know Special Brew?"

"No. I chose it merely based on its name and the fact that it wasn't Guinness."

"Oh. Well. I guess I should tell you, then. Special Brew has a really high level of alcohol. It's not like regular beer. It's the choice drink of tramps who are looking for something strong and cheap."

I burst out laughing.

"Well, shall we try it then?", I proposed.

Out of curiosity, Tristan and I both sampled small amounts of the Special Brew alongside our Guinnesses. Victoria politely sipped on the remaining portion.

Half an hour into the movie I glanced over across the sofa. Halfway into the can of Special Brew, Victoria was out cold, gone for the night.